Climate change and philosophy in Latin America

Journal of Global Ethics 7 (2):161 - 172 (2011)
Abstract
This paper aims at surveying the current philosophical issues concerning the climate change crisis in Latin America. The work attempts to analyze some central policies, particularly those that fostered economic progress in the region at the expense of human and environmental depletion. Historically, Latin America remained at the periphery of philosophical inquiry following the long standing multiple manifestations of colonialism. As a result, the systematic philosophical reflections about climate change in the region have been scarce at best. Here, I have addressed three main topics: political ecology, economic development, and indigenous issues. Latin American political ecology generally seeks to identify the ontological schemes necessary to mitigate, cope, and adapt to the climatic crisis. In addition, developmentalism played a significant role in exacerbating the state of Latin American political, economic, and ecological systems. Environmentalists all throughout the region strive to find alternatives to replace the failures of developmentalist policies. Consequently, indigenous concepts such as Sumak Kawsay or ?good living? offer alternate philosophical modes for Latin Americans, with their complex ethnic diversity, to derive their ontological and epistemological foundations on the problems posed by climate change. My work represents a sketch reporting the various inception points of different eco-philosophical views portraying legitimate instances of Latin Americans thinking critically about their own reality and surroundings. These may serve as alternate methods to forge models that could potentially contribute to universal philosophical concepts endowing humanity with broader epistemic tools to tackle the crisis at hand
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